EASY AS 1-2-3, DO-RE-MI: ABC Kids Expo brings juvenile product pros together at Las Vegas Convention Center
Somebody come and play.
Las Vegas, a haven for all manner of grownup pastimes, will this month turn toward children and babies, welcoming North America’s largest business-to-business juvenile-products trade show.
The ABC Kids Expo — the ABC stands for All Baby & Child — runs Oct. 23-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will feature more than 700 exhibitors occupying 1,600-plus booths (226 for first-time exhibitors) that will cover 500,000 square feet and represent 988 brands. Exhibitors will come from 60 countries. The nonprofit All Baby & Child Corp., based in San Antonio, estimates that 60 percent of retailers and attendees are in the toy, gear, gift, apparel and maternity industry.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA, which produces Las Vegas Newswire) estimates that 4,000 people will attend the expo (not open to the public), which was founded in March 2003 and packs a $6.5 million economic impact.
All Baby & Child President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Schur says the expo began its Las Vegas run shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, and has returned almost every year, save for 2011 and 2012, when there wasn’t a venue large enough (the show was then 1 million square feet) to accommodate it on the desired dates. (Schur suggested the reach of large online retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba and the bankruptcy-forced closures of Toys R Us and Babies R Us have affected the expo’s size.)
“Over 90 percent of our event constituents wanted to return to Las Vegas after being away for two years,” Schur says by email. “We have produced this event in Las Vegas ever since.”
The expo has attracted talent seekers from the ABC-TV network’s entrepreneur-pitch show Shark Tank and debuted many soon-to-be trend-setting baby and children’s products in past years. As the website Pop Sugar Family reported, the 2018 ABC Kids Expo included a cellphone-charging nursery room glider, a germ-resistant pacifier and collapsible bottles and sippy cups.
Earlier expos have showcased backpack diaper bags, mini-cribs (for crowded living spaces) and attachments to expand strollers as families expand. Schur says most new products in this year’s expo will likely hit store shelves by 2020’s first quarter, although some might come in time for the year-end holiday season.
“In this market, you have to realize that parents of babies receive gifts, and a lot of those gifts are from their parents or relatives and … come in the form of gift cards or cash,” Schur says. “They spend that cash after the holidays, therefore first quarter deliveries are timed perfectly to accommodate them.”
New this year, the expo will feature speaker presentations on the show floor all three days. Guest speakers will include: Louis Foreman, author of The Independent Inventor’s Handbook; Jamie Grayson, founder of The BabyGuyNYC; and Phil Wrzesinski, former owner of the Toy House in Jackson, Miss., which had been one of the nation’s largest independent toy sellers before it closed in November 2018. Lecture topics will include boosting advertising’s effectiveness, strengthening social media presence, consumer-centric innovation and successfully tapping the Chinese marketplace.
Besides buoying the children’s product market, All Baby & Child Corp. advocates for children’s health and welfare, donating money and in-kind products to children-focused charities. Beneficiaries have included: Cribs For Kids, a Pittsburgh nonprofit supplying cribs to underprivileged parents who can’t afford them; Our Military Kids, a McLean, Va. nonprofit supporting children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and military reservists; First Candle, a New Canaan, Conn., group aiming to end sudden infant death syndrome; and the Irvine, Calif.-based Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.http://www.theabcshow.com/ for details on the ABC Kids Expo and the showcased products.
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